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Functional properties of interneurons activated monosynaptically by the pyramidal tract

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Summary

The neurons of the external basilar region of the spinal cord, activated monosynaptically by the fibers of the lateral pyramidal tract, possess the following functional properties distinguishing them from the other interneurons of the spinal cord:

  1. 1.

    Their synaptic activation takes place only from pyramidal fibers.

  2. 2.

    In most cases a single pyramidal volley is ineffective.

  3. 3.

    The arrival of a series of high-frequency pyramidal volleys increases the effectiveness of synaptic activation, thereby shortening the latency of impulse generation.

  4. 4.

    After the appearance of a discharge, a prolonged period of depression of synaptic transmission (up to 80–100 msec) develops, reducing the probability of a second discharge during this period.

The hypothesis is expressed that these functional properties of the neurons of the external basilar region have a role in the control of the phased motor activity of the spinal cord by the cerebral cortex.

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Vasilenko, D.A., Kostyuk, P.G. Functional properties of interneurons activated monosynaptically by the pyramidal tract. Neurosci Behav Physiol 1, 66–72 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01124647

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Keywords

  • Spinal Cord
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Motor Activity
  • Functional Property
  • Synaptic Transmission